UNESCO declared Cayo Santa Maria "World Biosphere Reserve". Many animal species among which at least 10 species belong to the endemic groups of the country.
Exist important colonies of flamencos, seagulls, cormorants, lizards, iguanas, mollusks and great lizard-cuckoo. The ocean beds are filled with seaweeds and a wide variety of mollusks, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
Among the winged species, the Cuban Trogon (tocororo), recognized as the national bird of Cuba, green woodpeckers and sparrow hawks, as well as deer and hutias of different varieties, and standing out, the hutia rata can be observed.